Route 66 Caravan

America's Biggest Road Trip!

Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
June 20, 2003


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McLean, Illinois

Dixie Truckers Home

Dixie Truckers Home Neon The Dixie Truckers Home is almost as old as Route 66 itself. In 1928 J.P. Walters and John Geske rented a quarter of a mechanic's garage on Route 66 to sell sandwiches to truckers and passing motorists. The fledgling restaurant had a counter and 6 stools when it began. By the mid 1930s things had changed.
         
By the 1930s the Dixie Truckers Home was a full-fledged restaurant. It also had cabins in the back and a cattle pen. The cattle could get their exercise while the trucker ate his food. The Dixie Truckers Home was a popular place during the thirties. On weekends they would provide live entertainment and music.

The First Dixie Truckers Home
The original Dixie Truckers Home

       

Dixie Truckers Home 2003
The present Dixie Truckers Home was built in 1967 after the original burned down.

People flocked from all around to spend some time at the Dixie Truckers Home. Those parties became a memory after W.W. II broke out. The restaurant and gas station has been open continuously since 1928 and is still run by the family today. In 1965 the restaurant burned, but that didn't stop John Geske. He used one of his cabins to operate the Dixie Truckers Home while the new restaurant was being built. This is the restaurant that is still being used today.
     
Today the Dixie Truckers Home is owned by John's daughter, C.J and her husband Chuck Beeler. But John still drops by to check on things, he's 98 years old, retired, but still involved. The forth generation of family, Nicole and Michael work at the Dixie too. This is truly another family business on Route 66 than spans generations. The Route 66 Caravan is honored to be able to recognize the significant contribution that John, C.J., Chuck, Nicole and Michael have made to the Route 66 experience. Thanks guys.

Party at the Dixie Circa 1930s
During the 1930s the Dixie Truckers Home was the place to be on the weekends

     
Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame

The Dixie Truckers Home is also home to the Route 66 Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Illinois Route 66 Association and the Dixie. Not only can you get a great meal here but also you can check out who's who when it comes to Route 66 in Illinois.

 

Dixie Trucker's Home Route 66 Attraction

John Geske, C.J.'s dad, was a hands on kind of person. He believed in getting involved in his business. Perhaps that's why it is still successful today; he passed this work ethic down to his daughter. John's favorite saying was "You can't operate a business successfully by remote control." The Dixie Truckers Home is still successful and it is one of the few old Route 66 businesses that survived the transition to the Interstate age.
Dixie Truckers Home Ceremony

Nicole, Chuck and C.J. Beeler, Jim, Michael, Liz Hunter (manager), and Jeff LaFollette prepare to unveil the Roadside Attraction sign.

     

The Dixie Truckers Home is family owned and operated. Pictured from left to right are Nicole, Chuck, C.J. and Michael Beeler.

Dixie Family

     
Route 66 Corridor Act Petition

One of the most important items on the Route 66 Caravan agenda is to sign the petition for Congress to release the Route 66 Corridor Act monies. Here Jeff Lafollette, President of the Illinois Route 66 Association, signs the book.

     
Roadside Attraction

 


West 66
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